Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sailors & Swine - All Hail the Drunken Liar

Sailors & Swine
All Hail the Drunken Liar

Rock geeks talk all the time about the influence of (the admittedly awesome) Radio Birdman on Australian rock culture, but it could be argued that the Birthday Party had an equal impact, if not a bigger one. Sailors & Swine is the latest in a long line of adherents (King Snake Roost, the Wreckery, Feedtime) to the BP’s angry avant blues style. All Hail the Drunken Liar goes heavy on the hallmarks – mutated blues rock riffs, a lethally pounding rhythm section, unhinged ranting. Preacher Billy McCabe’s tales of misery and woe often have a nautical theme running through them, a la Holy Shark, Black Tom and Ships in the Night. But there’s plenty of bile to go around via Pig Machine, Rotten Night and The Birds – even when the band settles down (with acoustic guitars even!) on Miner’s Bride and The Boiling Sea the menacing undercurrent dominates. Sure, this is all pretty derivative of Nick Cave and the boys, but it’s so very, very well done that I ain’t complainin’.

- Michael Toland
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